Summer Skiing on the Glaciers
Blessed with mountains of such altitude, Zermatt has the largest and highest summer skiing area in Europe. Twenty-five kilometres of pistes and eight ski lifts remain open all summer. The pride of Zermatt's summer snow area is the superbly engineered Klein Matterhorn cable car - soaring up a shear mountain face to a lung bursting 3820m (12,530ft).
Summer skiing in Zermatt is quite different to the winter. Although on paper the summer ski area amounts to only 10% of the total winter area, summer skiing does indeed provide its own unique charm and it's great fun - as these photos can attest.
Glacier skiing is about very broad motorways of well groomed, obstacle free snow and the majority of this summer area is quite suitable for beginners and intermediates. But Zermatt's summer snow area is sufficiently large to offer something for everyone. Good skiers can test themselves skiing a few uninterrupted kilometres at racing speeds. In one or two steeper places there also exist a line of (black & difficult) moguls. Even more, there is also great fun to be had at the two half pipes and summer snowboard park.
Klein Matterhorn 360░ panorama. Available in Half size -238kb or Full size - 555kb
Lifts from the village start as early as 7am. The 2200m/7200ft vertical ascent is spectacular and even with the high speed lifts requires 45 minutes. Midsummer snow conditions are typically icy first thing in the morning. But by mid-morning conditions are wonderful with two hours of perfect 'spring' snow as the surface softens. Later in the day the snow can become very wet and heavy. Because of this the ski lifts close before 2pm in midsummer. After any bad weather it is normal to ski fresh powder snow - even in midsummer - thanks to the extreme altitudes. Just be up there early!
Views are incredible over much of Switzerland and Northern Italy - even to the distant Mt.Blanc and France. Take the little "Gipfel lift" to the very summit of the Klein Matterhorn for one of the finest panoramas in the world. On a clear day it is possible to see forty peaks over 4000 metres (13,000ft) elevation and 200km (130 miles) distance to the Maritime Alps close to the Mediterranean sea.
But be prepared for the strength of the sun - at altitudes close to 4000m - on snow, in summer, it is fierce indeed! Skiing without sunglasses will lead to temporary snow blindness - guaranteed. Constant reapplication of a strong sunscreen is also essential for those with fair skin.
Mid-summer panorama: half size or full size photo
Due to its extreme altitude and huge summer snow area, Zermatt very often hosts international ski (and snowboard) teams busy refining their technique. Swiss, Italian, Austrian, Scandinavian, Russian and even some North American teams are attracted to this area because it is one of the best summer skiing areas in the northern hemisphere. It is a great thrill to ski alongside Olympic skiers, and perhaps share a conversation with one on the T-bar ride back to the top. Apart from the International team skiers, this area also attracts top level club skiers from throughout Europe. Consequently the standard of skiing you will see in summer is extremely high - much higher than in winter. It is inspiring stuff.
Overall : Enthusiastic skiers and boarders wanting to stretch their legs, perfect their technique, race alongside world class skiers, enjoy the sunshine and incredible scenery, and are unconcerned by the lack of variety - will greatly enjoy the summer skiing.
Prices for summer lift passes are
(almost) the same as winter ski passes.
In September and October snowfalls become thicker and more frequent. As cooler winter conditions approach, the snow that falls often remains in excellent powdery condition, and pistes open progressively further down the mountains. The winter season proper begins with the first big snowfalls - generally towards the end of November - when all three skiing areas open and glorious long runs into the village become possible once again.
The Summer Ski Area of Zermatt
|Top Elevation: 3899m / 12,850 ft|
Base Elevation: 2939m / 9,650 ft *
Vertical drop: 960m / 3,200ft *
Marked Pistes: 20 km / 13 ml
Ski Lifts Operating: 7
Longest Piste: 7 km / 4 ml
Summer Ski School
The Gravity Snowboard Park - the best freestyle park in Europe with a Superpipe, kicker park, rail park, and snowskate park.
Open every day from May to November.
* The lower glacier lift from Trockener Steg to Furgsattel closes from June 25th to October 9th due to lack of good snow. But sometimes in May & November runs can be open to Furgg at 2432m for a vertical drop of 1400m and a 9 km long run!
For any further information please contact us !
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